Principle Power works with BOEM on offshore Oregon wind project

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said that Principle Power has submitted an unsolicited request for a commercial offshore wind power lease in the ocean off of Oregon.

In a public notice to be published in the Sept. 30 Federal Register, the agency: describes the proposal submitted by Principle Power to acquire an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) commercial wind lease; solicits indications of interest in obtaining a commercial lease for wind energy development on the OCS offshore Oregon in this same area; and solicits initial public input regarding this area, the potential environmental consequences of wind energy development in the area, and the multiple uses of the area.

On May 15, BOEM received an unsolicited request from Principle Power for a commercial wind lease. Principle Power’s proposed project, the “WindFloat Pacific Project,” would consist of a floating demonstration facility offshore Coos Bay, Ore. The project is designed to generate 30 MW from five floating “WindFloat” units, each equipped with a 6-MW offshore wind turbine, connected by inter-unit electrical cabling, with a single transmission cable exporting electricity to the mainland that would extend across both federal and state lands.

The project would be located about 16 nautical miles west of Coos Bay in water depths of approximately 1,400 feet.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Interior Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy released the National Offshore Wind Strategy, which identified challenges facing development of offshore wind energy and outlined actions to support the goals of developing an offshore wind industry. DOE’s Wind and Water Power Program released a formal Offshore Wind Innovation and Demonstration Initiative, consistent with the National Offshore Wind Strategy goals, to promote and accelerate responsible commercial offshore wind development.

To address the objectives of the strategy, funding was planned for Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects that verify innovative designs and technology developments and validate full performance and cost under real operating and market conditions. In December 2012, the DOE announced funding for seven offshore wind demonstration projects.

The awards went to projects that demonstrated the ability to progress toward achieving the national goals of the National Offshore Wind Strategy. Principle Power was selected as one of the seven. From the seven original projects selected for an award, DOE will choose three projects for continued funding in the spring of 2014. Principle Power has submitted this lease request to BOEM in an effort to move forward in the DOE funding process.

DOE’s seven picked projects are scattered around the country

The DOE said last December that each of these seven projects will receive up to $4m to complete the engineering, site evaluation, and planning phase of their project. Upon completion of this phase, the DOE Wind Program will select up to three of these projects to advance the follow-on design, fabrication, and deployment phases to achieve commercial operation by 2017. These projects will be eligible for up to $47m over four years, subject to congressional appropriations.

The seven projects selected for the first phase of this six-year initiative were:

  • Baryonyx Corp., based in Austin, Texas, plans to install three 6-MW direct-drive wind turbines in state waters near Port Isabel, Texas.
  • Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm plans to install up to six direct-drive turbines in state waters three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Lake Erie Development Corp., a regional public-private partnership based in Cleveland, Ohio, plans to install nine 3-MW direct-drive wind turbines on “ice breaker” monopile foundations designed to reduce ice loading. The project will be installed on Lake Erie, seven miles off the coast of Cleveland.
  • Seattle, Wash.-based Principle Power plans to install five semi-submersible floating foundations outfitted with 6-MW direct-drive offshore wind turbines. The project will be sited in deep water 10 to 15 miles from Coos Bay, Oregon. Principle Power’s semi-submersible foundations will be assembled near the project site in Oregon, helping to reduce installation costs.
  • Statoil North America of Stamford, Conn., plans to deploy four 3-MW wind turbines on floating spar buoy structures in the Gulf of Maine off Boothbay Harbor at a water depth of approximately 460 feet.
  • The University of Maine plans to install a pilot floating offshore wind farm with two 6-MW direct-drive turbines on concrete semi-submersible foundations near Monhegan Island.
  • Dominion Virginia Power plans to design, develop, and install two 6-MW direct-drive turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach on innovative “twisted jacket” foundations that offer the strength of traditional jacket or space-frame structures but use substantially less steel.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.